FIMBank p.l.c.’s Rating Upgraded to ‘BBB+’ with Neutral Outlook
for its Financial Crime Compliance
NEW YORK, October 21, 2021 – Following a recent re-certification review of FIMBank p.l.c.’s inherent risk environment and control effectiveness around internal compliance, governance and financial crime policies, Sigma has upgraded FIMBank to a “BBB+’’ with the institution performing at a high-level when benchmarked against international best practices. The outlook for FIMBank is neutral, primarily due to its geographic exposure and global operational footprint.
The FIMBank rating reflects our view that the institution has improved its control framework since its last review in 2017, when it was evaluated against international best practices for governance and anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism Specifically, a number of the areas identified by Sigma as part of the initial rating were addressed, including a major investment in an automated transaction monitoring tool that has taken considerable time and investment to implement. Additionally, FIMBank’s client profile has changed since the last rating, partly on account of a change in strategy and partly due to a changing market.
The neutral outlook on FIMBank reflects its commitment to robust risk management, particularly around financial crime compliance and the significant investments made in automated systems, including retention of compliance staff despite business and operational challenges (e.g., COVID-19).. We expect that additional improvements will be made in how the bank manages risk over the next twelve months, particularly as the new internal control and quality assurance function develops under its new Chief Executive Officer and management team.
We expect FIMBank’s general improvements to track to the following areas: i) enhancing internal control through a designated function; ii) focus on credit exposures; and iii) continued tuning to FIMBank’s transaction monitoring tool. It is unlikely that an upgrade will occur in the next 12 months, however, our outlook may change with continued progress by the FIMBank team.
About FIMBank p.l.c:
FIMBank p.l.c. is a Malta-headquartered trade bank that operates a global operation across multiple business lines and jurisdictions. FIMBank is publicly traded on the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE: FIM) and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit with respect to financial crime compliance (FCC).
About Sigma Ratings:
Sigma Ratings ("Sigma") is the world's first AI-enabled non-credit rating agency, with a focus on evaluating governance and financial crime controls of financial institutions and corporates globally. Based in New York, Sigma has delivered certified ratings across more than a dozen countries and provides cloud-based risk intelligence and data services to a growing number of global financial institutions and fintechs, including Barclays Bank. For more information about Sigma, its methodology or services please visit www.sigmaratings.com.
Sigma’s ratings consider public and private aspects of an entity’s operations, business strategies and controls, as well as its culture and business decision making process. The process results in a “rating” from AAA-C, with AAA representing the highest rating possible and the lowest risk to governance and financial crime compliance ("FCC") vulnerability. The Outlook represents the general direction of the company regarding its governance and FCC posture. Sigma’s leadership team includes professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience, including deep domain expertise on counter illicit finance-related matters as former senior government, legal and development finance experts.